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Mark P. Arts, Arjan Nieborg, Ronald Brand and Wilco C. Peul

Object

Muscle injury is inevitable during surgical exposure of the spine and is quantified by the release of creatine phosphokinase (CPK). No studies have been conducted on different spinal approaches and nonspinal surgery with regard to muscle injury. The present prospective cohort study was conducted to evaluate the results of postoperative serum CPK as an indicator of muscle injury in relation to various spinal and nonspinal procedures.

Methods

The authors analyzed data in 322 consecutive patients who had undergone 257 spinal and 65 nonspinal procedures. Primary procedures were performed in 264 patients and revision surgeries in 58. Spinal procedures were subdivided according to the degree of surgical invasiveness as follows: minimally invasive (microendoscopic lumbar discectomy, unilateral transflaval discectomy, and minithoracotomy), average invasiveness (bilateral lumbar discectomy, laminectomy, and anterior cervical discectomy), and extensive surgery (instrumented single or multilevel spondylodesis of the entire spinal column). Spinal localization, number of spinal levels involved, surgical approach, duration of surgery, and body mass index (BMI) were recorded. Creatine phosphokinase was measured before surgery and 1 day after surgery, and the CPK ratio (that is, the difference within one patient) was used as the outcome measure.

Results

There was a significant dose-response relationship between the CPK ratio and the degree of surgical invasiveness; extensively invasive surgery had the highest CPK ratio and minimally invasive surgery had the lowest. Thoracolumbar surgery had a significantly higher CPK ratio compared with those for cervical and nonspinal surgery. There was a slightly negative relationship between the number of spinal segments involved and the CPK ratio. The CPK ratio in revision surgery was significantly higher than in primary surgery. Posterior surgical approaches had a higher CPK ratio, and the ratios for unilateral compared with bilateral approaches were not significantly different. The duration of surgery and preoperative serum level of CPK significantly influenced postoperative CPK. There was also a significant association between CPK ratio and nonspinal surgery. Age, sex, and BMI were not significant factors.

Conclusions

Data in this study have shown a dose-response relationship between CPK and the extent of surgical invasiveness. Thoracolumbar surgery, posterior approaches, duration of surgery, revision surgery, and preoperative value of CPK were significant influencing factors for the CPK ratio. The clinical significance of the results in the present study is not known.

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Godard C. W. de Ruiter, Claudine O. Nogarede, Jasper F. C. Wolfs and Mark P. Arts

OBJECTIVE

The performance of surgery for spinal metastases is rapidly increasing. Different surgical procedures, ranging from stabilization alone to stabilization combined with corpectomy, are thereby performed for various indications. Little is known about the impact of these different procedures on patient quality of life (QOL), but this factor is crucial when discussing the various therapeutic options with patients and their families. Thus, the authors of this study investigated the effect of various surgical procedures for spinal metastases on patient QOL.

METHODS

The authors prospectively followed a cohort of 113 patients with spinal metastases who were referred to their clinic for surgical evaluation between July 2012 and July 2014. Quality of life was assessed using the EQ-5D at intake and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after treatment.

RESULTS

Nineteen patients were treated conservatively, 41 underwent decompressive surgery with or without stabilization, 47 underwent a piecemeal corpectomy procedure with stabilization and expandable cage reconstruction, and 6 had a stabilization procedure without decompression. Among all surgical patients, the mean EQ-5D score was significantly increased from 0.44 pretreatment to 0.59 at 3 months after treatment (p < 0.001). Mean EQ-5D scores at 1 year after surgery further increased to 0.84 following decompression with stabilization, 0.74 after corpectomy with stabilization, and 0.94 after stabilization without decompression. Frankel scores also improved after surgery. There were no significant differences in improvements in EQ-5D scores and Frankel grades among the different surgical procedures. In addition, mortality and complication rates were similar.

CONCLUSIONS

Quality of life can improve significantly after various extensive and less extensive surgical procedures in patients with spinal metastases. The relatively invasive corpectomy procedure, as compared with alternative less invasive techniques, does not negatively affect outcome.

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Godard C. W. de Ruiter and Mark P. Arts

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Erik J. van Lindert, Sebastian Arts, Laura M. Blok, Mark P. Hendriks, Luc Tielens, Martine van Bilsen and Hans Delye

OBJECTIVE

Minimal literature exists on the intraoperative complication rate of pediatric neurosurgical procedures with respect to both surgical and anesthesiological complications. The aim of this study, therefore, was to establish intraoperative complication rates to provide patients and parents with information on which to base their informed consent and to establish a baseline for further targeted improvement of pediatric neurosurgical care.

METHODS

A clinical complication registration database comprising a consecutive cohort of all pediatric neurosurgical procedures carried out in a general neurosurgical department from January 1, 2004, until July 1, 2012, was analyzed. During the study period, 1807 procedures were performed on patients below the age of 17 years.

RESULTS

Sixty-four intraoperative complications occurred in 62 patients (3.5% of procedures). Intraoperative mortality was 0.17% (n = 3). Seventy-eight percent of the complications (n = 50) were related to the neurosurgical procedures, whereas 22% (n = 14) were due to anesthesiology. The highest intraoperative complication rates were for cerebrovascular surgery (7.7%) and tumor surgery (7.4%). The most frequently occurring complications were cerebrovascular complications (33%).

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative complications are not exceptional during pediatric neurosurgical procedures. Awareness of these complications is the first step in preventing them.

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Mark P. Arts, Wilco C. Peul, Bart W. Koes, Ralph T. W. M. Thomeer and for the Leiden–The Hague Spine Intervention Prognostic Study (SIPS) Group

Object

Although clinical guidelines for sciatica have been developed, various aspects of lumbar disc herniation remain unclear, and daily clinical practice may vary. The authors conducted a descriptive survey among spine surgeons in the Netherlands to obtain an overview of routine management of lumbar disc herniation.

Methods

One hundred thirty-one spine surgeons were sent a questionnaire regarding various aspects of different surgical procedures. Eighty-six (70%) of the 122 who performed lumbar disc surgery provided usable questionnaires.

Results

Unilateral transflaval discectomy was the most frequently performed procedure and was expected to be the most effective, whereas percutaneous laser disc decompression was expected to be the least effective. Bilateral discectomy was expected to be associated with the most postoperative low-back pain. Recurrent disc herniation was expected to be lowest after bilateral discectomy and highest after percutaneous laser disc decompression. Complications were expected to be highest after bilateral discectomy and lowest after unilateral transflaval discectomy. Nearly half of the surgeons preferentially treated patients with 8–12 weeks of disabling leg pain. Some consensus was shown on acute surgery in patients with short-lasting drop foot and those with a cauda equina syndrome, and nonsurgical treatment in patients with long-lasting, painless drop foot. Most respondents allowed postoperative mobilization within 24 hours but advised their patients not to resume work until 8–12 weeks postoperatively.

Conclusions

Unilateral transflaval discectomy was the most frequently performed procedure. Minimally invasive techniques were expected to be less effective, with higher recurrence rates but less postoperative low-back pain. Variety was shown between surgeons in the management of patients with neurological deficit. Most responding surgeons allowed early mobilization but appeared to give conservative advice in resumption of work.